Better Marketing for MCC

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Miami Children's Chorus
City & State:
Coral Gables, 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

The mission of Miami Children’s Chorus is to provide a music education/performance program for children ages 8-17 in Miami-Dade County. The MCC seeks to continuously enhance the cultural life of South Florida by providing choristers and audiences with a positive and valuable musical resource.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Since 1965 Miami Children’s Chorus has provided outstanding choral music education to Miami-Dade County youth and concerts of exceptional quality to our community. Young people aged 8 to 17 audition to be accepted and must re-audition every year. As choristers, they study and perform standard and experimental forms of music, learning musicianship, vocal technique, discipline, teamwork, and the rewards of sustained and dedicated effort. Miami Children’s Chorus is dedicated to instilling the highest level of musicianship in our choristers and to enhancing the cultural life of South Florida by providing choristers and audiences with a positive and valuable musical resource.

Miami Children’s Chorus registered 172 children for participation in the 2008-09 season; they attended 85 public, private, and alternative schools in Miami-Dade County, and 14 were home-schooled. The beginning chorus rehearses once a week, and intermediate and advanced choruses rehearse twice a week.

In 2009-10 Miami Children’s Chorus will perform with Florida Grand Opera in performances of Suor Angelica, Pagliacci, and Carmen. MCC will also present four major concerts, United We Stand and Rejoice in the Spirit in Miami Beach, and Voices of Angels and Let the Children Sing in Coral Gables. MCC frequently receives performance requests from private organizations and individuals and fulfills as many of these requests as feasible. Additionally, MCC will hold a singing workshop for boys and five free community sing-alongs in diverse areas of Miami. Miami Children’s Chorus has won acclaim from critics and earned national recognition as an exemplary children's choir. During the 2007-08 season MCC performed successfully with the Master Chorale of South Florida in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in the Knight Concert Hall and in Pompano Beach. At the same time, MCC also prepared children to sing with the Florida Grand Opera in Puccini’s Tosca and La Bohème. In the fall of 2006, MCC performed for the opening of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (formerly Carnival Center for the Performing Arts). In that gala week they appeared with Gloria Estefan on The Concert for Miami and on the Florida Grand Opera inaugural event in the Sanford & Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House. MCC performance credits include three appearances at Festival Miami (FL), Carnegie Hall (NY), the Cardiff Proms Summer Concert Series (Wales, UK), and with the Israel Chamber Orchestra for the Concert Association of Florida. Miami Children’s Chorus has presented concerts in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic in addition to appearances throughout the United States. MCC frequently records with international artists. The children of MCC can be heard singing background on recordings of Raul di Blasio, Gloria Estefan, Christian Castro and the Frost Chorale at the University of Miami. MCC has also participated in recording projects with Jon Secada and José Antonio Molina and Jim Papoulis. Recognized for its artistic excellence by its peers, MCC appeared – by audition – at the 2007 American Choral Directors Association National Convention held in Miami Beach. Miami Children’s Chorus has recently installed updated versions of Microsoft Office Suite in its computers, thanks to the availability of free and low-cost software on Implementing Excel for spreadsheets and databases is a top priority at Miami Children’s Chorus. Until recently MCC had used a program that is not widely available, so the organization had been limited in its ability to communicate with Board members and other stakeholders. Further, Excel is robust in its ability to quickly calculate and modify formulas. This is especially helpful in light of the fact that this year MCC is implementing an intensive program of audience, chorister, alumni, and parent surveys, and will be analyzing the data for use in grants, revenue and other projections, and reports. Word has enhanced our sponsorship and grant applications. MCC uses Word to create pages with more graphic impact by using Word’s ability to incorporate photos and graphics, as well as the wide range of options available to position and frame these images on a page. The result is a document that has a comfortably small file size, to facilitate emailing, but does not sacrifice any visual impact. An example of a page used as a supplement to a grant is attached; it is simple but effectively indicates the nature of the activity and the population served. Power Point will be used this fall as we welcome new chorister parents at our annual orientation meeting. Our material will be presented on Power Point with print handouts given to the parents. Overall, Miami Children’s Chorus’ recently installed updated Microsoft Office suite has helped the organization be more effective in communicating with stakeholders, in gathering and reporting data, and in marketing itself with greater visual impact to potential grantors and sponsors. An award from Microsoft would further assist Miami Children’s Chorus in reaching its community. More sophisticated graphics and web software would enable us to develop more marketing materials in-house, which would represent a significant cost savings. Further, the ability to create materials in-house would result in better materials, because MCC would have the flexibility to adjust materials on an as-needed basis. Certainly the opportunity to develop and modify a new web site in-house would enable us to provide timely information to our community and at a considerably reduced cost. Currently, a graphic design company hosts MCC’s web site and MCC is charged for every change to the site. Further, the timeliness of changes is not always optimal, given the other demands placed on the graphic design firm. Although fiscally sound, Miami Children’s Chorus has not been immune to the challenges of the current economy and like many arts organizations is experiencing a dramatic reduction in funding. Over the past four years, the State of Florida has reduced its arts appropriation by more than $45,000,000, significantly diminishing the amount of grant funding available to the Chorus. While MCC’s donors remain loyal, many are finding that they have to reduce their contribution, and the organization’s fundraising efforts are not yielding the results that have been experienced in previous years. Thus, Miami Children’s Chorus is participating in the “Show Your Impact,” competition with the hope that Microsoft will appreciate how its own products help serve the South Florida community by boosting the effectiveness of this unparalleled choral music program.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery
Project Image
Supporting Work Files